Birch Bay Get Away

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Whale Watching

Departs Bellingham & Semiahmoo with

*We're going completely green!

Sand Castles

When the tide is out, Birch Bay is a great place to build sand castles. Kids can spend hours creating sand sculptures on the beach during a low tide. Don't leave too early because it is often just as fun for kids to stay and watch their creations become submerged by the tide as it returns. During June, the Birch Bay Chamber sponsors a Sandcastle Contest with prizes for several different categories.

Kite Flying

What can I do in Birch Bay while the tide is out? Fly your kite with your children at Birch Bay. Our tide flat allow hours of enjoyment with your family.

Where can I get kites? Kites can be purchased at Bay Center Market and several seasonal shops along Birch Bay Drive.


Birch Bay is a great place for swimming. After a low tide, the ocean water is temporarily heated up to bathtub temperatures by the sun-warmed sand as the tide returns. Since the sand flats are so shallow, young swimmers can enjoy a safe place to swim with virtually no undertow. Swimming is best in the central portions of the bay with the vast sand flats. The beach is much more rocky on the south end by the state park.

Birch Bay Polar Bear Plunge

Beach Walking

It's always fun to walk along the beach and explore! Birch Bay has several public access areas to get to the beach and good places to walk are at the State Park and in the central portion of Birch Bay between the Blue Fish Restaurant and the Bay Center Market. When the tide is out, you can walk all around the bay on the tideflats. Another place to go beach walking is on the sandspit at Semiahmoo Park. You can walk along the either side of the spit or down the paved path that runs down the middle. It is a scenic place with lots of shorebirds and views of Blaine and White Rock, B.C.

Bird Watching

Did you know that the northwest corner of Washington state offers some of the finest winter bird watching in the country?? The natural shoreline areas around BlaineSemiahmoo and Birch Bay provides food and shelter to a wide variety of migrating birds during the winter months. Birch Bay's annual Wings Over Water Birding Festival celebrates this in early Spring. The area is also home to many resident birds like the Great Blue Herons commonly seen on the tide flats of Birch Bay. The North Cascades Audubon website has a map of birding locations in Whatcom County.


Birch Bay Drive is both scenic and flat making it a great place for biking. Semiahmoo is another beautiful area perfect all levels of bikers with its flat, paved trails. More experienced bikers can ride the loop from Birch Bay to Semiahmoo.


Birch Bay is shallow and stays relatively calm so it is a great place for all levels of kayakers. During high tides, you can kayak up Terrell Creek towards Birch Bay State Park. Don't have a kayak? Outer Island Expeditions offers summer kayaking tours at a variety of Whatcom County locations including nearby Semiahmoo Spit.

Boating / Fishing

Puget Sound: Birch Bay State Park has a public boat launch that gives access to the bay and Strait of Georgia, there is also one free at the bottom of Ceder St at no charge.. Blaine Marina has a year-round two lane public boat ramp that is popular for recreational boaters and anglers. Semiahmoo Marina has guest moorage available. Don't have a boat? offer year-round salmon fishing in the San Juan Islands. Dock Fishing: Blaine has a Public Fishing Pier located at the end of Marine Drive that is open daily from dawn to dusk. Freshwater: Lake Terrell has a WDFW access area for fishing and hunting and is located near Birch Bay. Lake Terrell is a popular fishing spot for largemouth bass (no fishing from the dock).


Enjoy camping in the 194-acre Birch Bay State Park along the southern end of the bay. This popular camping area tends to fill up in the summer months, so it's best to plan ahead! The park features 8,255 feet of saltwater beach for beachcombing, clamming, crabbing, swimming, boating and fishing. The beach here is mostly rocky so kids will want to wear something on their feet for comfort. During low tides, kids can enjoy looking in the small tide pools for crabs and small sea life. Bird watchers will often see herons, gulls, eagles geese and more. Birch Bay State Park also offers a variety of free weekend interpretive programs during the summer. Call 360-371-2800 to find out more.

Clamming & Crabbing

Birch Bay is a great place for family and sports enthusiasts to enjoy crabbing and clamming.

When we get some of the lowest tide, you can walk out for awhile before reaching the waterline. What's the best way to catch crabs? There are several methods. You can use pots, rings or you can simply walk out onto the beach and pick up your crab as it crawls through the water.


For crabbing and clamming, a recreational license is required for anyone over the age of 15, and children are required to maintain a catch record card just as an adult for crabbing. For more information on recreational crabbing, go to WDFW's official site for Crab Seasons and Harvest Rules Birch Bay is located in Marine Area 7.


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